The internet is a breeding ground for both excellent, authoritative information and absolute B.S. and the topic of search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of the most talked about topics out there. No matter what your business is or how much you know about technology, you know that getting to the top of organic search results takes a lot of expertise in the field of SEO.
Trust me, I’m an “expert”
The issue comes when people start looking into strategies to boost their SEO, and stumble across far too many self professed ‘experts’ posting their own advice regarding SEO, when really they have no clue that what they are posting could actually be damaging if it was put into practice. The truth is, unless you have search engine optimisation training, the likelihood is you are not an expert at all and have no authority to be dishing out so called ‘strategies’, but so is the nature of the internet. So here are a just a few of the many SEO strategies posted online that should be taken with a pinch of salt:
Link ‘Buying’ Not Building
Thousands of websites offer you the service of paying to get hundreds of websites linked to yours for ridiculously low prices. The reason the prices are so low is because the links aren’t even worth that! Google values quality links (as in links to websites with high quality content and authority in their field) over lots of links to low quality websites built just for the purpose of back links.
Bad link building strategies like buying links in bulk is against Google’s ethics and if they find you out you can get your site de-indexed, i.e. removed from Google searches entirely. Save your budget and put it towards a reputable SEO service who will help you build relationships and links with other relevant and high quality websites, or even do so yourself. It costs nothing to start a dialogue going via email, LinkedIn or other methods with other site owners and could lead to you gaining useful new contacts and swapping links with their site.
Publishing content for the sake of content
Content marketing, I am guessing you have heard of it. Its one of the biggest buzz words surrounding digital marketing and SEO at the moment, and if done properly it can have a great effect on your website’s SEO and marketing strategies. But the common mistake people make is thinking that the quantity of content is the most important thing.
Yes, posting fresh content to a blog or your website on a regular basis is much better than leaving old content stagnating for months on end. But if the content you post is low quality and not relevant at all then you would be better off not posting anything. Writing content that is obviously written just for the purpose of including certain keywords, and doesn’t flow, read well or hold any interesting information for a genuine human reader then it isn’t good content.
If you don’t feel able to write quality content or just don’t have the time, do what many other businesses are doing and employ a copywriter with the skills to craft high quality content for you. If you do plan to do it yourself, try setting yourself a regular date when you plan to have the content up online by, for example every Thursday, and work towards that. Then make a list of potential topics and titles within those topics that would interest your customer base. The keywords and SEO will take care of themselves naturally as long as the content is written for the reader, not for Google.
Using Spam Comments Services
Just like bad link building services, there are also thousands of online websites devoted to ‘helping’ businesses by spamming hundreds of blogs and websites with comments. If you have a blog or website that enables comments, you may have already has issues with these comments before. They are often irrelevant to the post or page they comment on, are written in broken English at best, and have a link to a website in them.
The idea behind these comment services is that a business pays for these comments to be posted as another way of getting hundreds of back links out there to their website. But as mentioned earlier in this article, low quality back links are no longer something Google values and most of the time the comments are flagged as spam immediately and deleted/permanently banned.
These are just a few of the many bad SEO strategies recommended by so-called “experts” all over the world due to the much unfiltered nature of the internet. So if you are looking for advice and SEO services, be sure to check that the sources are reputable and the advice they are giving is backed up by relevant SEO training before taking anything from them seriously.